Do you enjoy stand-up comedy as much as I do?
I just read a great article in MormonTimes about Mormon stand-up comedians who keep their humor clean.
The article mentions comedian Ryan Hamilton, a semifinalist on NBC’s “Last Comic Standing,” who said he tries to be authentic and true to himself when he comes up with his mix of observational, energized comedy. Hamilton was named one of five comics to watch by Rolling Stone magazine in 2008.
Keith Stubbs is another comic mentioned in the article. Stubbs is a radio show host and owner of the comedy clubs “Wiseguys” in Utah. Stubbs says that being clean forces you to be more creative.
Hamilton noted that in the LDS market, members are sometimes so desperate for wholesome entertainment, they’ll take what they can get, even if it’s bland. “I understand where people are coming from. They don’t want things in their homes that make them uncomfortable, but I also think that there’s a higher level of stuff artistically that’s available… My hope is that as time goes on, the Mormon market becomes a little more discriminating. … Although it might require more searching, there’s so much out there that fits within our standards that isn’t necessarily produced by Mormons for Mormons.”
Whether comedians are Mormon or not, their reasons for being clean are as varied as their punch lines. Hamilton said his reasoning isn’t so much a moral decision as it is a matter of authenticity. He said he doesn’t just want to be clean, though. He wants to do comedy that leaves people feeling lighter than when they arrived, as opposed to the negative, heavy mood that lingers long after a pessimistic or cynical comedian leaves the stage.
Ricky Hacking is another comic mentioned in the article, who performs as a hobby.
Brian Regan, who isn’t LDS, is currently touring the country and has scheduled 5 shows in Salt Lake this week. Regan sells out concert halls nationwide, and says clean comedy is just the way he likes to work.
Who are your favorite clean comics?